It’s a fact that seniors may slow down and become more sedentary as we grow older and some of the reasons for that are quite obvious. Our body doesn’t react the same way anymore and we are more prone to various health problems, from weight issues to serious chronic conditions. Still, does that mean we should simply give up fighting for our health? Of course not!
It’s well documented that exercising, at any age, has numerous benefits to both our physical and mental health. It’s just a matter of finding the exercises our body is comfortable with and committing ourselves to regular physical activities. Let’s take a look at some things that should help seniors enjoy a healthier and more active life.
If you’re still not sure exercising is the right thing for you, you need to consider the fact that you’ll be able not only to live longer if you keep your body and mind in shape, but you’ll significantly improve the quality of your life and remain independent for much longer if you include or keep exercising as part of your daily routine.
Benefits to your body
Regular fitness activities are very important when it comes to regulating weight, which is an issue that many seniors have. Since your metabolism is slower, it’s more difficult to maintain a healthy weight. Also, exercising boosts your immune and digestive functioning and improves blood pressure and bone density, which are also common problems among the elderly.
In terms of the quality of life, you will be able to be more mobile and flexible if you exercise, while those living in modern retirement homes will have an opportunity to socialise with other people. Finally, strength training alleviates the symptoms of chronic illnesses, such as arthritis.
Benefits to your mental state
Much has been said about the importance of sleep. Without quality sleep, there’s no good health, and you can’t function properly if you haven’t had a night of long and deep sleep. That’s something exercising can help you with. Since it reduces stress and produces endorphins, you’ll be able to fall asleep more quickly and you’ll be less prone to sadness, depression and anxiety. Finally, the stronger and healthier you get, the more self-confident you’ll be.
Even mental activities such as Sudoku or crossword puzzles are great for your brain. They prevent memory loss, dementia and cognitive dementia. The more we exercise our brains, the less likely we’ll be to suffer from brain disorders, such as Alzheimer's disease.
What are the obstacles?
Apart from diagnosed health issues, older people are often reluctant to take up or continue exercising because they are discouraged by all sorts of reasons. However, if you consult your doctor and an expert in fitness training, they will be likely to suggest some activities you can do. On the other hand, if you simply hate exercising, you might consider including some other activities you like in your training. For example, you can listen to music or audiobooks while doing cardio exercises or lifting weights, go window-shopping while doing your laps, take photos of nature while hiking, etc.
What about diet?
There won’t be so many benefits to exercising regularly if your routine is spoiled by wrong choices when it comes to the food and drinks you take. If you’re not sure what the best diet for you is, consult a doctor or nutritionist. They can help you create a plan for a healthy diet you should stick to.
Find a partner
It’s always much easier to be in the company of other people when exercising since you’ll feel more motivated to achieve your goals. Also, sharing the moments of success is priceless when it comes to your mental state. Finally, you’ll be much less likely to skip a daily routine if you know someone else is expecting you to keep your promise.
As you can see, it’s not all doom and gloom when it comes to exercising at an older age, but there are some restrictions that must be considered. It’s important that every decision made in that respect is made in consultation with experts and you’ll be able to reap the benefits of proper exercise.